How to install separate home partition

Jim Byrnes jf_byrnes at
Sun Apr 29 22:15:35 UTC 2012

On 04/29/2012 03:47 PM, Colin Law wrote:
> On 29 April 2012 21:13, Jim Byrnes<jf_byrnes at>  wrote:
>> On 04/29/2012 02:19 PM, Colin Law wrote:
>>> On 29 April 2012 19:07, Jim Byrnes<jf_byrnes at>    wrote:
>>>> On 04/29/2012 10:53 AM, Colin Law wrote:
>>>>> On 29 April 2012 16:37, Jim Byrnes<jf_byrnes at>      wrote:
>>>>>> I've been reading here about the benefits of a separate home partition.
>>>>>> Since I wanted to put both Ubuntu 12.04 and Xunbutu 12.04 on my laptop
>>>>>> I
>>>>>> decided to try a separate home partition. I booted from the Ubuntu
>>>>>> install
>>>>>> CD and choose the Other choice from the installation options.
>>>>>> I googled and found a how to to follow.
>>>>>> I partitioned as follows:
>>>>>> Primary - sda1 77GB ext4 mount point / for Ubuntu
>>>>>> Extended:
>>>>>> sda6 77GB ext4 mount point /home  for home
>>>>>> sda7 77GB ext4                    for Xubuntu
>>>>>> sda  86GB free space
>>>>>> sda5 4GB swap
>>>>>> I installed Ubuntu on sda1 and when it was done it did not recognize
>>>>>> /home
>>>>>> as my home partition.  I did some more googling and fixed that. Then I
>>>>>> installed Xubuntu on sda7 and when I was done it did not recognize
>>>>>> /home
>>>>>> as
>>>>>> the home partition.
>>>>>> Booted from Ubuntu and using the disk utility on sda6 I see /home
>>>>>> mounted.
>>>>>> Booting from Xubuntu sda6 is not mounted. If I mount it it mounts at
>>>>>> /media/(what looks like a UUID).
>>>>>> The how to I followed only put Ubuntu, home and swap on the disk. Is
>>>>>> there
>>>>>> something else that needs to be done to add a second OS and share the
>>>>>> home
>>>>>> partition? I want to start all over so could someone tell me what I did
>>>>>> wrong or point me to a reliable how to that covers my situation.
>>>>> When you were installing you should have told the first one to use
>>>>> sda6 with a mount point of /home and to format it.  When installing
>>>>> the second you should again have said to use sda6 as /home but /not/
>>>>> to format it.  Then it would have left it as it is.
>>>>> Colin
>>>> Thanks Colin, I'm starting to reinstall now.  One more question.  After
>>>> installing Unbuntu and it comes time to pick a computer name and user
>>>> name
>>>> while installing Xumbuntu do I use the same names used on the Ubuntu
>>>> install
>>>> or does it even make a difference? The first time I used different ones.
>>> I am not sure that it will ask on second one.  If it does then if you
>>> want to use the same user on both (which should be safe I think) then
>>> use the same one.
>>> Did you realise that you can have both on the same install and choose
>>> at logon time which to use?  Install ubuntu then
>>> suso apt-get install xubuntu-desktop
>>> to install the extra stuff for the xubuntu window manager.  At least I
>>> think it is xubuntu-desktop.  Google should confirm that.  Then on the
>>> logon screen click the ubuntu icon by the user name and Lubuntu should
>>> be there aswell as ubuntu.
>>> Colin
>> Yes I realize that.  I've tried it in the past in a VM and the results were
>> less than satisfying.  I have the space so I decided to do a full install of
>> both.
>> Things went better this time following your advice but it seems like Xubuntu
>> still created it's own home.  After first installing Ubuntu and before
>> installing Xunbutu I put a txt file in both Home and Documents on the Ubuntu
>> side.  After installing Xubuntu and rebooting I can see that /home is
>> mounted but I cannot see either one of the txt files I created in Unbutu.
>>   Am I misunderstanding the concept of the shared /home? I should be able to
>> see the txt files from either OS, shouldn't I?
> It may be you are missing the knowledge that each user has their own
> 'home' directory in /home.  In nautilus (the file manager) click on
> the little arrow to the left of where it says Home at the top.  That
> should then show an icon for the complete file system and another
> 'home' which should be your home partition.  Click on that home and
> you should see a folder for each user's 'home' folder with the name of
> the user.  Strictly whenever we talk about a users home folder what we
> really mean is that users folder within the /home directory (which is
> a separate partition in your case).

Yes I was not understanding that correctly.  Now that you have explained 
it, I see how it works.

> If you want to check that you are in fact using your partition for
> /home then open a terminal and type
> df
> and then you should see /home in the right hand column against
> /dev/sda6 in the left.

Both point to /dev/sda6 so I was successful, I just didn't know it.

> Colin

Thanks for your help,  Jim

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